Orlando Science Center's exhibit halls feature a vast array of exciting interactive experiences! Learning has never been so fun with these hands on educational exhibits. From down to earth explorations in natural science to the high-tech world of simulation technology, everywhere you look, you'll find educational and entertaining opportunities to explore, experiment, and discover.
The Orlando Science Center is home to some of the most exciting traveling exhibits in the country. When these exhibits are in town they are only here for a limited time, so don’t miss the opportunity to see them!
As great as our traveling exhibits are, there are some exhibits that are the staple of the Orlando Science Center. NatureWorks will have you up close and personal with some of nature’s most fascinating reptiles. At DinoDigs, you’ll step back into the prehistoric age. Discover the dynamic forces and systems that shape our Earth, as well as other planets in Our Planet, Our Universe. Explore such concepts as electricity and magnetism, lasers, soundwaves, and nature’s forces in Science Park. No visit to the Science Center is complete without a trip to KidsTown, an interactive world dedicated to our smaller explorers.
Science Live! Programs
What’s the difference between a great visit to a Science Center and a memorable visit? Live programs. Our exhibits are designed to inspire curiosity and exploration, our Science Live! programs are designed to bring the exhibits to life. Whether it’s a show in the Digital Adventure Theater or a one-to-one interaction with a volunteer at the Crosby Observatory, our live programs create the kind of impact that can last a lifetime.
Looking for little more “hard science” in your next Science Center visit? Look no further than the Science Stations located throughout the facility. Science Stations are a cross between exhibits and live programs in that they’re exhibits that typically include a live program to truly bring the experience to life. Science Stations provide an in-depth look at their respective subject matter in an entertaining way. Be sure to check your program schedule to see which Science Stations are conducting demonstrations on the day of your next visit.
The aluminum-domed Crosby Observatory atop Orlando Science Center houses Florida's largest publicly accessible refractor telescope. This one-of-a-kind custom-built telescope, along with several smaller scopes, are available at selected times for solar and night sky viewing.
30 May 2011
This book is not only fun to read about but is extremely educational - for adults as well as children. This book is also great for pre – teens or teens who read at a lower reading level. It is full of fascinating facts about all kinds of plants. It describes a variety of plants with unusual characteristics including those that give off light and those that eat insects.
Come curl up under our big story tree and listen to a great story! Check our schedule for times!
24 May 2011
WFTV Severe Weather Center 9
Have you ever wondered if it is possible to see a rainbow at night? After all, rainbows are generally made from sunlight shining through raindrops. Although seeing a rainbow at night may seem like an odd thing to contemplate, it is possible.
Night rainbows are incredibly rare and often difficult to see, but not impossible. If the moon is bright enough and the atmosphere offers the right conditions, night rainbows, also called moonbows or lunar rainbows, can occur.
Just like a normal rainbow, this phenomenon happens when light is split up into the different colors of the spectrum. When the light bounces off the back of a raindrop, it causes the colorful display of light to streak across the sky.
However, because moonlight is not nearly as bright as the sun, the moonbow appears much dimmer. Without much light for our eyes to take in, moonbows can appear muted and grayish or even ghostly white. Only a full moon, or nearly full moon can produce enough light to make a night rainbow. Even with enough light from a full moon, there still needs to be the right conditions to produce a rain-shower while still having enough breaks in the clouds to allow light through. If you ever get a chance to see one, be sure to take in the beauty the night has to offer and snap a photo.
Image courtesy of Starry Night Skies Photography
18 May 2011
Pinwheels are an age old craft that your Grandma will remember. Put together these pretty wind decorations and stick them in your garden. Encourage your kids to observe the pinwheel to get a look at wind speed and direction.
What you'll need:
- Colored card stock or construction paper
- Thumbtack or stick pin
- Pencil with new eraser
- White craft glue
How to make it:
- Print the pattern onto plain copy or printer paper.
- Cut the square pattern out, cutting on the solid lines.
- Lay pattern on top of colored paper and trace the square. Cut out the square from the colored paper.
- Keep the pattern square on top of the colored square. Either hold it in place with your fingers or tape it down lightly on two of the sides.
- Cut through the pattern and the colored paper along the dotted lines but do not cut in to the center circle.
- Use a thumbtack or stick pin to poke out the holes in every other corner as indicated on the pattern. Set the pattern piece aside.
- Take one corner (one with a hole) and fold it toward the center of the square. Fold the next corner that has a hole and fold it toward the center on top of the first holed corner. Repeat with the other two corners with holes until all four are folded into the center. Glue the folds to each other and to the center. Hold together until dry.
- Push the thumbtack through the center of the pinwheel and into the eraser of the pencil. Make sure the pinwheel isn’t touching the eraser or it won’t spin.
- Glue some sequins to the flaps of the pinwheel and let dry.
As your kids observe the pinwheel moving, ask them these questions...
- If the pinwheel blows faster, what does that mean about the wind?
- When the pinwheel blows this direction, where is the wind coming from? What if it changes direction?
23 May 2011
Tyrannosaurus rex is one the most popular dinosaurs around, which means we study him a lot. There has been a lot of talk about all aspects of his life; how he hunted, how he moved, etc. Click here for an article about T-rex’s tail and how it helped him not only to keep balance, but also to be a better runner.
This will be one of the first in a small series I’ll do about the star of DinoDigs, Mr. T-rex. Make sure to tune in during the following weeks for more information and discoveries about our favorite carnivorous Cretaceous dino.
Painting courtesy of Field Museum
Stephanie is a Science Interpreter at the Science Center and often is found in Dino Digs or Careers for Life. Paleontology, Anthropology and Anatomy are her passion and jumps at every opportunity to talk about it. Stop in and say Hello!
18 May 2011
WFTV Severe Weather Center 9
Have you ever wondered what a vortex is and how natural vortices including tornadoes, whirlpools and cyclones move the way they do? Try the tornado in a bottle experiment to find out. A vortex is a whirling mass of water, air or fire that creates a visible tornado-like column or spiral. A vortex can be created with the help of angular momentum, surface tension, centripetal force and fluid displacement. This experiment requires the use of super glue and a drill, so kids – don’t try this without an adult!
- Two 2 liter plastic soft drink bottles
- Food coloring (optional)
- Glitter (optional)
- Two bottle lids
- Super glue
- Electrical Tape
- Fill one bottle ¾ full with water.
- Add some food coloring and glitter. (Optional)
- Use the super glue (with a parent’s help) to glue the two bottle lids together, flat sides touching.
- Let dry.
- Drill a hole (with a parent’s help) through the center of both lids with a 9 mm drill bit.
- Screw in one side of the bottle lid to the bottle filled with water. Then, screw the empty bottle onto the other side of the connecting lids.
- Add some electrical tape around the connection to reinforce.
- Turn the bottles over and observe the movement of water from one bottle to the next.
- Try again, but this time give the bottle a few spirals as you set it down. Notice what happens this time.
The first time you turn the bottles over, the surface tension of the water tries to keep the water from flowing down. The weight of the water above it, however, forces the water to bubble up and break through into the second bottle. This is what makes the BLOOP BLOOP sound you hear as it happens several times. Each time this happens, pressure builds up in the bottom of the bottle until the air is forced up into the top bottle over and over until the top bottle is empty.
The second time, the water was directed into a spiral by your swirling motion creating a vortex into the bottom bottle. Gravity works to pull the spinning water down through the hole into the bottom bottle. The angular momentum of the spinning water makes the water at the center of the vortex spin faster than the water closer to the edge of the bottle creating a whirlpool effect.
The vortex created by the swirl lets the air pass through the center of the vortex without disrupting the flow of the water. When you combine this with the forces of water pressure and the gravity force, a centripetal force, or spinning force, makes the water swirl. Notice that the water near the bottom moves faster than the water at the top. The higher the speed, the steeper the curve needed to allow the spinning motion.